Nov 13th 2010

Katya Grokhovsky, Mara Baker and Rafael E. Vera

@ What It Is

1155 S Lyman Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304

Opening Saturday, November 13th, from 5PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, December 11th

This show is a twofer: in the living area Katya Grokhovsky and on the front porch Mara Baker and Rafael E. Vera.

Grokhovsky’s practice is a hybrid of diverse disciplines and mediums, the themes of which stem from my experience of life in the East and West, under different political regimes. The Soviet and Post-Soviet mentality, dislocation, longing and embodied memories of “home” intertwine into pressed layers, forming an emotionally charged platform.

Her project for What It Is, Double Exposure: (House Portrait Number 1.), is a site-specific installation, consisting entirely of photographic images of the interior and exterior of a House and its’ inhabitants, situated inside the House itself. The double layered dynamics of a lived-in environment of a house-gallery are investigated and played with, via the medium of photography. Revealing histories and daily mechanics, treasures, traces and mysteries of artistic life inside the art itself.

The collaboration of Mara Baker and Rafael E. Vera grew out of a shared love for formal language, the process of drawing and their mutual backgrounds in site-specific installation.

Over the past year they have collaborated on a series of drawings entitled Trading Paper. The drawings explore basic ideas of structure and how it can morph, deconstruct, or be recreated. The drawing work was based in a slow exchange of ideas; which one artist started and the other finished. Both artist’s made a conscious effort to treat each other’s drawings as a site from which to mine formal clues and create a visual conversation.

In Rise over Run their individual practices combine to create a site-specific installation. The work takes inspiration from the slope and imperfections (created by age and use) of the front porch at What It Is. Utilizing common porch construction materials, pulleys and basic drafting tools, the work is a reflection and a response to the effect of time, weight and gravity.

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